The American Chemical Society published a new study in their Environmental Science & Technology publication explaining how a simple five minutes outside can benefit mental health.
A new phrase, “green exercise,” is defined as “physical activity in the presence of nature.” Studies in the past have discovered outdoor exercise or activity may decrease mental illness risk and work to improve self-esteem. Until now, no specific studies have been proven on how much time is required to reap these benefits.
The researchers studied 1,252 people. The subject group consisted of both men and women of all ages and mental health statuses. They were examined during walking, gardening, fishing, farming, and boating. While each individual did receive benefit from being outdoors, greatest health benefits were had by mentally ill and young subjects.
Researchers suggest a quick 5 minute bout of activity outside during your day as a quick refresher and rejuvenation period.
The study also noted that being near water showed even higher health benefits, and the largest positive effect on self-esteem resulted from only five minutes.
We recommend focusing on short-term improvements to give yourself the greatest chance of long-term health.